Have you heard of the Milk Biscuit Syndrome among kids? A doctor explains

The milk and cookie disease is commonly found in children who consume a lot of dairy, sugar, preservatives and acids (from processed food) resulting in highly acidic content in their stomach.

By Dr Prashanth Gowda

The Milk Biscuit Syndrome is more commonly referred to by doctors as the milk and cookie disease. Although several children have experienced this, it is not something that is commonly talked about. This is often experienced by children who practice an unhealthy diet and consume excessive sugar and processed fat, especially late at night, which would cause coughs, running noses, sore throat, fatigue and constipation.

The disease is about more than just milk and cookies. It is caused by several factors. A few reasons why your child might get the disease is due to the consumption of the following just before bedtime:

Excessive consumption of soda

Processed / store bought juice

Milk

Yogurt

Sugary snacks

Ice-cream

Chocolate

The milk and cookies disease is not an officially recognised disease. However, thousands of children have been found to be showing symptoms without being able to discover a cure. Because this is not talked about very often, medication is often given for the symptoms but not for the disease itself, which results in the illness not being cured completely.

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What causes this disease?

The milk and cookie disease is commonly found in children who consume a lot of dairy, sugar, preservatives and acids (from processed food) resulting in highly acidic content in their stomach. When they are asleep, this acidic content can flow backwards through their oesophagus and sometimes till their throat. Unlike adults, kids don’t feel heartburns but they experience congestion, runny nose, sore throat and cough. These symptoms are generally mistaken as allergies and infections by doctors. Long-term exposure to this kind of acid reflux can result in medical problems like asthma, bronchospasm, dental problems, chronic cough and even ulcers.

How can it be treated?

The treatment is very simple for this disease. All you need to do is cut out on the dairy and sugar that your child consumes especially before bedtime. The main reason for this is acid reflux.

Most parents find it hard to believe that cutting down on dairy would actually help their child. Doctors recommend that you however try the method before opting for more medicines and spending more money on a disease that could be cured at home.

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Thousands of children were found to improve after cutting down on dairy and sugar to the surprise of parents. Misdiagnosis is a common problem because the disease is not an officially recognised disease. Controlling the dairy and sugar consumption of a child immediately controls the sugar levels in the child’s body preventing any further elevation of the current problem to anything more problematic.

Timely diagnosis is key in this disease. When diagnosed right and given the right treatment and diet, it can help make a child’s life so much better.

(The writer is Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Sarjapur, Bangalore)

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